Mississippi, the majestic river that flows south from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, is a never-ending source of legendary wonder and inspiration in American history and literature
In the late 18th century, the river was the boundary between the Spanish and French colonial American territories and barely one hundred years later would be the stage of tragic episodes of the American Civil War.
Cruising down the Mississippi River, in a large Robert Fulton’s paddle wheel steamboat, the amazing beauty of the rich soil delta of the plantation country Mississippi triangle emerges as we reach the lower Mississippi Louisiana swamps and marshlands.
It was the land of huge cotton and sugar plantations and oak alleys leading to the entrance of the wealthy planter’s impressive homes that are portrayed in the classic movie “Gone with the Wind “.
The white columns across the front are dominant features the Greek revival architectural style, the handsome red brick, the lacy wrought-iron balconies, and the windows of the upper level used as doorways, are typical Southern states the grandest country houses.
The political and economic tension between northern and southern states deteriorated until the civil war broke in 1861.
During the next four years the North unionist Yankee troops, under the command of General Grant, adopted a scorched earth policy, destroying indiscriminately military and civilian property
Many towns, like Atlanta and Savannah, and countryside homesteads were torched turning the South into a wasted land.
Set on the Mississippi River the city of Natchez is the paradigm of the plantation homes gracious living of the antebellum civil war lavish and sumptuous days.
Natchez emerged unscathed of the horrors of the war with beautiful mansions of the era of plantations been kept in pristine condition.
Some are open to the public as museums with elegant interiors, decorated with Victorian rococo furniture made of rosewood, mahogany, and walnut and dining rooms ornate with exquisite porcelain and crystals.
Large ballrooms adorned with magnificent draperies and oriental rugs and opulent kitchens huge copper pots were the centerpieces of houses.
One of these mansions stands out as an extravagant tragedy of lost dreams.
It is Longwood, a spectacular octagonal house that was never completed because the crew of skilled artisans, carpenters, brick masons, and plasterers tinsmiths, mostly Northern workmen, laid their tools abandoned scaffolds and ladders and left to join the Union.
It was man’s dream of grandeur that sits unfinished but still imposing in its magnitude, it was owned by a farmer that had a large fortune in assets and holdings became almost penniless when the plantations came standstill.
Mississippi, a country of matchless beauty where we were fortunate to travel and enjoy its rich history.